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Water Sleeps

(The Chronicles of the Black Company #8)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,541 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Regrouping in Taglios, the surviving members of the Black Company are determined to free their fellow warriors held in stasis beneath the glittering plain. Journey there under terrible conditions, they arrive just in time for a magical conflagration in which the bones of the world will be revealed, the history of the Company unveiled, and new world gained and lost...all at ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 470 pages
Published March 15th 2000 by Tor Fantasy (first published March 1999)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Buddy reread with the clueless new mercenary recruits Elena, Mark and Maria over at BB&B. Under the wicked supervision of our Ever-Stalking Black Company Overlord (ESBCO™), of course ☠

Previous rating: 3.5 stars. No comment.
New rating: 12.45896785 stars.

And the moral of this reread is : hallelujah to our Lord Shrimp and stuff! I finally saw the light, read this book right, and rated it appropriately! We are all saved! The world will not blow up and all puny human life on this planet wil
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A group read with my fellow mercenaries Choko, Eilonwy, and Sarah.

The surviving members of the Black Company (this seems to be a common theme for the start of all books of the series) slowly biding their time carefully planning revenge on everybody who betrayed them in the last book. They keep reminding everybody the Company is beaten, but not killed. "Water sleeps, but your enemies don't" is the main theme of the book.

Two very unlikely people had to fill the positions of Company's Captain and
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fantasy-grim
*** 4 ***

Mercenaries, we are almost there!!! A buddy read at BB&B

We have been through a lot. War is tough on everybody. It has been especially devastating on the once vast and powerful, legendary Black Company. It has been 14 years since the core of the company, including the brains of Croacker, the Talent of Lady and the heart of Murgen, walked into the trap set for them by Soulcatcher in the Glittering Stone Plain.... Everyone presumes they are dead and the remnants of the Company scattere
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
The books must be written. The truth must be recorded even if fate decrees that no man ever reads a word I write. The Annals are the soul of the Black Company. They recall that this is who we are. That this is who we were. That we persevere. And that treachery, as it ever has, failed to suck the last drop of our blood.

Fourteen years ago, the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar marched out onto the Plain of Glittering Stone. After the most devastating incident in its history, carefully execute
Maria Dimitrova
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When Port of Shadows was released I put this one on hold. As a result it took me almost a month to get back to Water Sleeps. In fact I almost abandoned the series altogether. But under the influence of my beloved and wise beyound her years spouse Sarah, the brave fellow newbie Mark and the Evil-Overlord-turned-sort-of-a-Grumpy-Uncle Evgeny I eventually picked it up again and let me tell it was just the sort of trearment my heart needed after that disasterous instalment.

Things didn't end well (
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! Definitely one of my favorites in the series. Sleepy really is a great narrator, and I liked how much different it was from the previous couple of books, while still maintaining the overall feel/atmosphere we've come to expect from a Black Company novel. There are some emotional moments towards the end, and in many ways this book seems to be setting up the series for the epic climax which is sure to come in Soldiers Live.

Water Sleeps is essentially about a rescue mission,

I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed. I'll try to come up with a coherent review later today!
Milda Page Runner
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Milda by: Evgeny
Well, what's not to like?
- I always enjoyed reading about a women disguised as a men living among the guys and succeeding there.
- Imagine fighting guerilla/partisan war having two old mischievous wizards Goblin and One Eye on your team, not to mention the usual Black Company's bag of tricks - it's just pure fun.
- Mind blowing revelations about the Plain of the Glittering Stone.
- Encounters with semi-gods and demons.
- Dungeons'n'Dragons/ horror type adventure in Icy Caverns.
And all that spiced up
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was one of the best books in the series so far. It was entertaining and compelling from start to finish.

Things pick up 14 years after the shocking events that ended She is the Darkness. Sleepy is now annalist, standard bearer, and acting captain of what remains of the Black Company. The Company are in Taglios working to undermine the rule of Soulcatcher and the Radisha. The days of armies in the field are gone. The Black Company works from the shadows. The main goal is to discover a way to
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great entry in the ten-book Black Company series. Glen Cook certainly threw the familiar characters and places into a blender. I enjoyed the creativity he used in continuing to shape the universe this late in the series. The book has a tight and fast-moving plot.

Other reviewers have expressed disappointment with the book, comparing it to “homework” and stating the narrator was flat and boring. I disagree. (view spoiler)
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Surprised this happened 15 years after book 7. And not much expectations, after the problems I had with the ending of the previous book as well.

But this was really good. I loved the "urban guerrilla and infiltration" style of this one. The sabotages and terror tactics were both good and at times downright amusing.

Also, a lot of answers for a lot of questions that tormented me for a lot of books. The scope and worldbuilding were increased a lot, but the answers kept everything pretty tight and co
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
They call me Sleepy. I was withdrawn as a child, hiding from the horrors of my childhood inside the comfort and emotional safety of daydreams and nightmares. Any time I did not have to work, I went away in there to hide. The evil could not touch me there. I knew no safer place till the Black Company came to Jaicur.

My brothers accused me of sleeping all the time. They resented my ability to get away. They did not understand. They died without ever understanding. I slept on. I did not waken fully
Robin Wiley
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Finally done!

Kids, I gotta be honest. This one felt kinda like homework.

Sleepy is our narrator this time. She's not fun or funny, which is a drag. But she is a genius at guerrilla warfare, and that is pretty great. She is in charge of a tiny ragtag bunch - Company members not cocooning under the Glittering Plain. We have the ancient but antic loving wizards One Eye and Goblin, Murgen's wife and son, and a few other newbies.

They are in the capital city, living in a super secret hideout, wearing d
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
After finishing this book, and gathering my thoughts regarding the black company books I have read so far, I think this has got to be by far the best book in the series after Shadows linger.Cook has experimented a lot with the way he has written the books, in a way that the narrator for the company keeps changing.Also some books had two parallel story lines, finally merging at convergence.For the first few books we had Croaker as our annalist cum physician for the company, then we had Lady doing ...more
Michael Campbell
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A bit slow going and reads more like a history lesson than a novel. Loads of backstory and questions answered but not a lot of actual plot or intrigue.

There are some interesting parts, The Black Company doing a bit of the back alley warfare it does best.

I enjoyed Sleepy as the Annalist more so than I did Murgen. She's a bit shaper than Murgen and not distracted by emotional attachments.

I think this one is very important to the story, and I believe it's leading up to a brillaint finale! All the
Troy G
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The gist of this book is: the black company survives. I expected this as part of the story, because I knew there were 2 more books, but what I didn't expect was how well the series did without its major characters in a narrative sense.

The narrator of this book is Sleepy. She was mentioned in the pervious book, and appeared once or twice, but was a very minor character. Now, she is pretty much the only character left, and so keeping up the story is up to her.

The shift in narrative style and vena
Jeremy Preacher
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, military
Water Sleeps was actually pretty good, which was a nice change. Sleepy is a much, much better narrator than Murgen, and the immediacy of the guerilla campaign is much more interesting than the previous book's long march to nowhere. I did not love the increasingly obvious parallels to India - maybe I am misremembering, but they didn't seem so lazy in previous books, I mean, use some new names at least - and once they leave the city it starts to have some of the same problems with immediacy as the ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Series: 11/27/2005 5/10

The Black Company series' premise was very interesting - a gritty dark take on the ins and outs of a military company in a fantasy world. It didn't really live up to expectations though. I would've preferred to see more of the company rather than the focus on one individual. The series definitely has it's ups and downs. Some books are decent and others are pretty bad - it seemed to get worse as it went on. The plotting was pretty poor and the characters were one-dimensiona
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I really like seeing these epic battles between the forces of good and evil through the eyes of fairly ordinary participants. Looking forward to the next book.
Maggie K
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sleepy is the narrator here, and is so much more grounded than Murgen! Much easier for me to read!
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another book, another Annalist. This time around the reader gets to read the writings of Sleepy, Murgen's chosen successor. We learn right off the bat that Croaker & co didn't actually die when Soulcatcher attacked at the end of She is the Darkness, but were rather frozen in stasis. And also it's 15 years later. And before I get any further, what a start this book gets:

In those days the Black Company did not exist. This I know because there were laws and decrees that told me so. But I did no
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have rated this notable fantasy series with five stars before, but those accolades went always to “Books of the North”. Since the overthrow of Lady’s Evil Empire® and the beginning of the Company’s quest to return to Khatovar I find their adventures a quite a bit less engaging than its predecessors. Part of it is I didn’t care much for the changes in world-building, which from that point on draws heavily on Indian culture, myths and religions, from caste systems to names suspiciously close to ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We return to Taglios only to learn that fifteen years have come and gone since we left Croaker, Lady, and Murgen on the glittering plain. Most of the Black Company has perished and living in secret under Soulcatcher's rule. She's given herself the ironic title "Protector" and believes she had no living enemies.

Sleepy has taken over the duties of the Company's Annalist, so we have yet another voice and character to learn. She's clever and curious, but comes across as a bit flat and monotone. She'
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Starts a bit slow, but the refresh in the narrator's identity and the bug drama at the end make of for the "more of the same" feeling throughout some of the book.
While I was expecting things to be nearing the saga's epic ending, the happenings at the end look like capable of birthing multiple new books, which I'm not sure is a good thing. Endings are important. I guess I'll see at the end of book #9.

All in all, a very solid entry in this series, which I enjoyed.
Andrew Herbert
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found the first 40 pages or so slow going. I put the book aside for a while but my faith in Cook’s previous books got me to try again. The extensive out-of-body sections were the problem.
Anyway, after the first few chapters the story got going and it was enjoyable to follow Sleepy’s development. Soulcatcher is fun as always and the wee wizards were stronger presences.
I look forward to “Soldiers Live”!!
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy, war
Back to form. Following the rebuilding (yet again) of the Black Company is great. I loved the plots in Taglios, and the way Sleepy keeps her eyes on the main goal.

Still not a big fan of spying using people unmoored from place and time, but ok, it was less of a plot device.

Great ending.
Nenad Pavlović
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
High fantasy adventure galore! After the slow crawl that were books 4-7, the company (what's left of it) is back on track! Things happen again: we finally learn who is Kina, what is the Glittering Plane and what is the secret origin of the Black Company.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
After finding the last few a bit of a letdown, Water Sleeps is a great recovery. Maybe the best in the series so far, although it's difficult to compete with the first three books. Definitely has me looking forward to the conclusion.
Stuart Mccaskell
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The series has definitely taken an unexpected turn since the initial trilogy. Curious to see where it's all going but very aware the final book has not yet been released (and with a gap of 18 years, who knows if it ever will be).
Xavier Ashe
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. The twists and turns of this book made for an amazing end to the series. It was a wonderful rollercoaster the whole way through.
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Fantasy Book Club...: * Water Sleeps (CotBC #9) Ch 1-50 5 19 Nov 03, 2013 08:55AM  
  • The Healthy Dead (The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, #2)
  • Blood and Bone (Novels of the Malazan Empire #5)
  • Caine Black Knife (The Acts of Caine, #3)
  • The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing, #3)
  • Worldbinder (Runelords, #6)
  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3)
Glen Cook was born in New York City, lived in southern Indiana as a small child, then grew up in Northern California. After high school he served in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of Missouri. He worked for General Motors for 33 years, retiring some years ago. He started writing short stories in 7th grade, had several published in a high school literary magazine. He began writing with m ...more

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of the Black Company (10 books)
  • The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1)
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #2)
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4)
  • Dreams of Steel (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #5)
  • Bleak Seasons (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #6)
  • She is the Darkness (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #7)
  • Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #9)
  • A Pitiless Rain (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #10)
“Rich men have dreams. Poor men die to make them come true.” 82 likes
“The people come from everywhere, from five hundred miles, to find their fortunes. By fortune is an ugly, two-faced goddess. When you have lived with her handiwork for half a generation, you hardly notice anymore. You forget that this is not the way life has to be. You cease to marvel at just how much evil man con conjure by existing.” 7 likes
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